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The Wrong Storage Architecture Can Send Your Modernization Strategy Back to the Dark Ages

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Read more about author Ahsan Siddiqui.

Today, many companies are pursuing application modernization strategies in replacing older software with innovative computing approaches like new languages, frameworks, and infrastructure platforms. Indeed, the application modernization services market is forecast to expand from $11.4 billion in 2020 to $24.8 billion by 2025.

Whether containerization, virtualization, or low-code/no-code software development, organizations are eagerly experimenting with and adopting these cutting-edge strategies to transform their operations and get maximum value from digital technologies like AI and big data.

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But as companies look to implement an application modernization strategy, most fail to understand that a storage architecture plan is a critical piece when transitioning their legacy IT environments. As organizations shift to a modern application and architecture, a bulletproof data backup and recovery strategy is imperative. 

After all, if a company loses any mission-critical data during any stage of the development or transition process, the modernization strategy will not be successful, and the company could potentially put its investments at risk.

Without a Good Plan, Investments Could Be Wasted

The reality is that without a good data storage and recovery strategy, a business could lose its investments outright. Many large organizations starting their application modernization journeys wonder if they’re covered entirely. They’re realizing that it is not just a matter of optimizing their application development and deployment but also having robust security controls and data recovery plans to ensure a smooth transition.

Research firm IDC just published a new report that outlines the challenges organizations face when deploying modernization strategies like containerized applications, as well as the expected versus realized benefits of their efforts.

Many companies that embraced modernization are rolling back some of those changes and repatriating their data because they did not fully anticipate the impacts and challenges. Essentially, the time, effort, and investment required to transition to these new technology stacks are not always bearing fruit, with some organizations having to return to their original architectures and traditional deployment methods.

Data Storage Is an Essential Element of Modernization

It has become clear that some application modernization technologies, such as containerization, often fall short regarding data storage. Why? Well, for one thing, a container architecture like Kubernetes is exceptionally fluid and dynamic. Depending on the developers’ goals and specifications, these containers are rapidly spun up and just as quickly torn down.

That means the containers are temporary, with a relatively short lifespan. Meanwhile, storage, by definition, is permanent. Data storage cannot live by the same rules as containers – namely, constant creation and destruction.

Data protection will become increasingly important as more enterprises embark on modernization. Already, many organizations are discovering that unexpected things can happen to their data during migration and deployment. And as organizations turn to more modern technologies and techniques, they will create more and more data that will need to be backed up and stored.

For all these reasons, data backup is increasingly a front-burner issue as organizations realize that their data needs better managed and protected. That’s why properly backing up that data is critically important – and will only become more critical in the years ahead.

Backup Architecture Should Be in Place Before Modernization

When it comes to application modernization, there is also the question of visibility and knowing where your data resides. Where is it being physically stored? How is it being structured? Who has access to it? So, on one side, you have these new, modern ways of working with data. But on the other, you have these growing threats to data in the form of malware, ransomware, and other cyber threats.

Organizations embarking on application modernization efforts need to be prepared for the fact that things can go wrong. That’s why it is critical to have a backup and secondary immutable storage architecture during this transition. Because then, if something does go wrong, organizations have the option to fall back and return to their original state – so they can continue to run their business effectively.

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